If you’re driving around your neighbourhood and spot a billboard advertising the latest eyewear or sunglasses you often see an A-list celebrity wearing these cool shades and you’ll think that you probably need to get a pair because you think it will make you look cooler.
It’s very rare that we think a pair of sunglasses is necessary to protect our eyes from harmful UV rays and it’s even rarer that we think kids would need it more than we do. But the truth is a pair of sunglasses is more important for our eyesight than our “street cred” and our children deserve it as much as we do.
Protecting your kids from harmful rays
Scientists have long been studying the effects of different kinds of light on a human’s eyes and they discovered that UV rays are much more dangerous to kids than adults because of their eyes are not as efficient as an adult when it comes to filtering high-energy rays.
UV rays are both dangerous to adults and kids because it can cause cataracts when an individual is exposed to high amounts of it for a long period of time. It’s important to note that since children spend more time outdoors playing in parks or at the schoolyard they’re more prone to developing this disease later on if they’re not provided with proper care.
But even if your child stays indoors more than outside there’s still the risk of him/her developing problems with his/her eyesight due to another harmful ray – Blue Light.
Blue Light, or what scientists refer to as high-energy visible light (HEV), is the kind of light that comes from gadgets and artificial light and this ray is just as harmful as UV rays if you’re exposed to it for long periods of time.
Blue Light can come from light bulbs, smart phones and computer screens and according to scientists this ray can lead to macular degeneration if the person is exposed to it consistently without the proper protection.
For those who are unaware, macular degeneration is the deterioration of the pigmented area, which is located at the centre of the retina.
This part of the eye is responsible for helping us fine-tune our vision so we can recognize shapes and other details of the world with more accuracy. Whenever we look at someone’s face and we recognize them due to the shape of their head, eyes, mouth, jaws and ears it’s because our macula is helping us recognize the details of what we see.
It also helps us figure out the shapes in a book or an eye chart so we can distinguish is a letter is an “a” or an “e.” When macular degeneration occurs all we see in front of us are blurred images making it nearly impossible for us to distinguish what exactly we are looking at.
Although, macular degeneration is often caused by hereditary problems and even smoking some scientists are discovering that prolonged exposure to Blue Light can also lead to the progression of this disease.
Kids these days spend an inordinate amount of time staring at their tablets or computers playing their favourite video games or simply browsing the internet and the Blue Light that they’re exposed to is unhealthy enough to cause severe eyesight problems as they grow older.
Fortunately, eyewear today has progressed immensely that there are lenses that can protect children’s eyes from both UV rays and Blue Light. There are even glasses that have sturdy frames, which mean that even if your little toddler is prone to hurling anything within her reach the glasses she wears to protect her eyes from harmful rays won’t break easily.So the next time you find yourself looking at a billboard about the latest eye wear think about buying your kids their own pairs too so they’ll get to enjoy looking at the wonders of the world without the risk of developing eyesight problems in the future.